Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hitler had nothing on this Chinese ethical monstrosity

Chairman Mao might have regarded him as an interesting thinker, though

Some of his "ideas":

Taking drugs like Ritalin to enhance cognition may help with the global population problem, since there's a link between cognitive ability and lower birthrate."

Give people hormone treatments to have "smaller children".  Also, maybe put on a "meat patch" like a nicotine patch before heading to a restaurant, to curb your enthusiasm for eating meat.

Drugs to help you write checks to Oxfam, drugs to help you avoid eating meat, genetically engineered cat-like eyes, and "human engineering" to make people smaller


Be Liberal Or Be Branded “Anti-Science”

Scientific American is an ideological magazine more than a science journal. In a current column, Shawn Lawrence Otto throws the “anti science” canard at those who disagree with the Science Establishment’s ideological views.  From, “Anti Science Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy:”
Indeed, in this election cycle, some 236 years after Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, several major party contenders for political office took positions that can only be described as “antiscience”: against evolution, human-induced climate change, vaccines, stem cell research, and more. A former Republican governor even warned that his own political party was in danger of becoming “the antiscience party.”

Well, let’s see: The term “evolution” can mean many things. Few deny natural selection, but most in America also deny some neo-Darwinists’ assertions that the theory proves the truth of materialism and the absence of God. Young Earth Creationism is religion, I agree, but my colleagues at the Discovery Institute are pursuing a heterodox scientific theory of intelligent design. It may be incorrect, but it isn’t anti science to hypothesize and investigate it. Indeed–as just one example–fellows at the DI predicted early on that “junk DNA” wasn’t ”junk,” for which they were ridiculed by some. Yet, so it isn’t.

Human induced climate change is scientifically controversial, particularly since there has been no statistically significant warming in the last 16 years and some of the computer models that alarmists used to try and panic the population have proved wrong. I could be snarky and say, garbage in, garbage out: But the truth is climate is too complex for the kind of predictions we are supposed swallow whole and then, in reliance thereon, turn our economies heads over heels about.

Stem cell research is an ethics debate, not a science debate: Hence, it is as about as accurate to say that anti embryonic stem cell/cloning research advocates are anti science as it is to say that the pro side is anti ethics. Opposing vaccines because of the supposed danger they present, I think, is hysterical and wrong–and dangerous–but anti science? Perhaps.

I do think the animal rights movement’s false claim that we do not benefit from animal research is anti science–but Otto doesn’t mention it. However, it is not anti science to say that we shouldn’t do it despite the benefits we receive. Dangerously wrong, in my view. But an ethics issue, not a science one.

And the following assertions seem a classic example of what psychologists call projection:
It gives me no pleasure to say this. My family founded the Minnesota Republican Party. But much of the Republican Party has adopted an authoritarian approach that demands ideological conformity, even when contradicted by scientific evidence, and ostracizes those who do not conform. It may work well for uniform messaging, but in the end it drives diverse thinkers away—and thinkers are what we need to solve today’s complex problems.

If any group around today seeks to stifle diverse thinking it is the Science Establishment, which not only refuses to countenance counter arguments to its beliefs and convictions–but actively seeks to stifle them–to the point that they (in my view) are undermining the public’s trust in science by conflating it with policy or ideology; the very phenomenon they bemoan.

Otto’s agenda becomes crystal clear when he goes after pro lifers, based on Todd Akin’s idiotic statement about “legitimate rape.” But the anti science advocates in that debate–if we want to throw that epithet around–are pro choice types who deny a gestating fetus is a human life and that we begin as unique human individuals at the completion of fertilization.

So, how do these disputes jeopardize our democracy?  Pretty weakly stated:
In an age when science influences every aspect of life—from the most private intimacies of sex and reproduction to the most public collective challenges of climate change and the economy—and in a time when democracy has become the dominant form of government on the planet, it is important that the voters push elected officials and candidates of all parties to explicitly state their views on the major science questions facing the nation. By elevating these issues in the public dialogue, U.S. citizens gain a fighting chance of learning whether those who would lead them have the education, wisdom and courage necessary to govern in a science-driven century and to preserve democracy for the next generation.

In other words, agree with our (liberal) policy prescriptions or be deemed an anti science rube. What rubbish.


Rage about climate that mentions not one scientific fact

Dominique Browning is clearly a follower.  She has swallowed the Al Gore guff whole and without question.  "Authorities" turn her on, apparently.  In different times she would have marched for Hitler, Stalin or Mao

Over here at Moms Clean Air Force, I’ve been–I’ll admit it–profoundly depressed that the candidates have blown their chance to talk about the most important issue facing our planet. Climate Change.

Two debates down. A moderator who says “Whoops! Ran out of time to ask about climate. So sorry!”  Well, I’m sorry too. And I’m angry. Angry as hell and high water.

Two debates about “domestic policy” and not one word has been uttered about the chaotic domestic weather we’ve been enduring. Not one word about our unreliable climate. Not one word about the pain and suffering visited upon millions of Americans because of runaway greenhouse gas pollution. Not one word about the ugly legacy we will leave our children.

And now, one debate left to go. The topic? Foreign policy.

I’ve been walking around in a funk about this, my mental climate as agitated as it has ever been, thinking, well, that’s that. We won’t hear a word.  And then, the lightbulb–LED, naturally–popped on!

We have one more chance–before we vote–to demand that the candidates talk about climate change. And we have a moral imperative to demand that.

Because climate change is one of the most urgent and important foreign policy issues Americans will  ever face.

Our Earth’s atmosphere has been compromised by air pollution. And we all breathe the same air, when you get right down to it. We must demand that the candidates give us their plans to slow, and then reverse, the changing climate that is bringing us tragic and extreme storms, flooding, heat waves, and droughts.

Noah had to choose only a pair of every single species to enter his Ark. Is that a position we want to put our children in?

Whether you believe the story of Noah and his Ark literally, or metaphorically–it makes no difference. The fact is, life in a world with an unreliable, chaotic climate means that we–and our children–are going to face some very hard choices, very soon, about who lives. And who dies.

We don’t have to go there. Anywhere in the world.

Tell our candidates: Break Your Climate Silence.

Or imagine how you are going to look your children in the eye and answer one, sad question: Why didn’t you stop this, when you could?


What is ethical energy and why aren't the candidates talking about it?

When it came to gas prices and energy production, the second presidential debate last Tuesday played like the footnotes to the first one: same points, just more detail. President Obama claimed that oil production is up because of his policies, and Mitt Romney claimed that "the president's right in terms of the additional oil production, but none of it came on federal land."

Then they waged the battle of the facts. Romney said, "Oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land, and gas production was down 9 percent. Why? Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands, and in federal waters."

Obama retorted, "Very little of what Gov. Romney just said is true. We've opened up public lands. We're actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration."

What's a confused voter to do? The website of Rob Bradley's Institute for Energy Research is a good guide because of its wealth of independent sources. A 2011 Congressional Research Service report stated that the U.S. increase in oil production came from private and state lands, which comprise about 70 percent of total U.S. oil production.

Obama's Energy Information Administration reports that last year federal oil output was down 13 percent and natural gas down 9 percent. Romney fudged a point. The EIA also noted that federal offshore production was down 77 million barrels, or 17 percent, mostly due to Obama's drilling moratorium after the Gulf of Mexico's Deepwater Horizon disaster.

A little EIA fact opened a big question: The majority of oil production on federal lands -- about 80 percent -- is now located in offshore waters. What happened to all those oil lands in the West?

Interior Department records show that the government leases less than 6 percent of its onshore lands for oil and gas development -- 38.5 million acres in 2011, down from 47.2 million in 2008. Obama slowed the rate of leasing: new acres leased dropped 55 percent from 11.6 million to 5.2 million, and the number of new leases fell by 42 percent from 9,661 in 2008 to 5,568 in 2011.

The administration of George W. Bush approved 20,479 drilling permits in its last two years; Obama has approved only 12,821. Obama has doubled the time it takes to get a drilling permit from 154 days in the Bush years to 307 days in 2011.

When Romney told Obama, "You cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half," the president replied, "Not true, Gov. Romney." Romney hounded Obama for about five minutes about it. Neither budged.

To get some perspective on this exchange, I called Marc Morano, communications director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a positive voice on environment and development issues. Morano told me about his Climate Depot project and its current campaign, "Ethical Energy."

The idea, he told me, is this: Limits on North American drilling, mining, pipelines and energy extraction only increase U.S. reliance on "conflict energy" from places like the Middle East, Venezuela and China, where human rights and environmental protection may be less than desirable.

The concept arose from Canadian political gadfly and best-selling author Ezra Levant. His 2011 book "Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands" poses the challenging questions: "With the oil sands at our disposal, is it ethically responsible to import our oil from the Sudan, Russia, and Mexico? How should we weigh carbon emissions with human rights violations in Saudi Arabia? And assuming that we can't live without oil, can the development of energy be made more environmentally sustainable?"

Morano's conclusion: "Gov. Romney's all-the-above carbon based energy goals are the moral and ethical choice for the United States."


Reality unwelcome

Their own figures show that there is no cause for alarm but  Warmists keep shrieking on.  Why the flight from reality?  A partial answer below

Twenty-five years ago, in 1987, the rock band Fleetwood Mac recorded a song with a chorus sung by composer Christine McVie that went, “Tell me lies, tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies….”

So many people, were you or I to ask them whether or not they preferred to be told the truth and dealt with honestly, would respond immediately in the affirmative.

Yet, seldom is this the case, I’ve found, in practice.

Contrary to our commonly held romantic notions about good trumping evil, and truth prevailing over lies, the reality is all too often far less glowing. The most attractive women don’t vie for the man of honorable intent and high intellect, but for the scheming user – the pedestrian con-artist who again and again repeats his pattern of deceit with the willing, doe-eyed cooperation of his conquests. He’s normal, they think. He fits in. And yes, he lied to me . . . but they’re such sweet little lies . . . .

It seems to me after long experience that people in general don’t really want the truth. They only want that which comforts them. They have no desire to actually be right – only to feel right. And this is, after all, the only reason government and politics exist in the first place.

Believe me absolutely when I say that my view of truth is nothing if not Doestoevskian: I would rather live with it above all else, no matter how painful, or difficult to accept. And I speak from the standpoint of one who has on numerous occasions, and continues to this day, to pay the emotional cost of that dedication. I would still have it no other way, regardless.

There’s a line from another Fleetwood Mac song that says, “Rumors make bad lovers.” Just like lies and other untruths. Like any hollow charade you want to name.


Perverse Environmentalist Oil Sands Ethics

The duplicity and hypocrisy of environmental pressure groups seem to be matched only by their consummate skill at manipulating public opinion, amassing political power, securing taxpayer-funded government grants, and persuading people to send them money and invest in “ethical” stock funds.

In the annals of “green” campaigns, those against biotechnology, DDT and Alar are especially prominent. To those we should now add the well-orchestrated campaigns against Canadian oil sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Oil has been seeping out of Northern Alberta soils and river banks for millennia. Native Americans used the bitumen to waterproof canoes, early explorers smelled and wrote about it, and “entrepreneurs” used it in “mineral waters” and “medicinal elixirs.”

Today, increasingly high-tech operations are extracting the precious hydrocarbons to fuel modern living standards in Canada and the United States. Enormous excavator/loading shovels and trucks used in open pits during the early years are giving way to drilling rigs, steam injection, electric heaters, pipes and other technologies to penetrate, liquefy and extract the petroleum.

The new techniques impact far less land surface, use and recycle brackish water, and emit fewer air pollutants and (plant-fertilizing) carbon dioxide every year. Water use for Alberta oil extraction is a tiny fraction of what’s needed to grow corn and convert it into ethanol that gets a third less mileage per gallon than gasoline. Affected lands are returned to forest and native grasslands at a surprising pace. And the operations are removing oil that would otherwise end up in local air and water.

Instead of requiring perpetual subsidies, á la the “renewable” technologies that President Obama intends to redouble if he is reelected, the oil sands generate vast sums in royalties and taxes: an anticipated $690 billion into federal and provincial coffers all across Canada over the life of the project. That’s on top of tens of thousands of jobs of every description, including nearly 2,000 Native Canadians (Aboriginals), whose communities have enjoyed soaring living standards since the operations were launched. In fact, the oil sands project will ultimately generate 11,219,000 person-years of high-paying employment from Alberta to British Columbia, Ontario and the Maritime Provinces, say government sources.

This North American oil is displacing millions of barrels of annual US oil imports from some of the least savory countries on Earth, while adding billions of barrels a year to planetary petroleum production, and thereby keeping world oil prices lower than they would otherwise be.

These are huge benefits. The oil sands project is hardly perfect. It causes environmental impacts, just as all human enterprises do, especially those that provide energy. Indeed, even fantasy fuel projects – wind, solar and biofuel boondoggles that provide comparatively minuscule amounts of energy, but require billions in taxpayer subsidies – have enormous ecologicalimpacts. Here’s the most important point:

Canada’s oil sands (and the Keystone Pipeline that will bring their petroleum to the United States) must be evaluated on environmental and ethical grounds that compare them to real world alternatives to them – not to some utopian energy resource that exists only in the minds of idealists, ideologues and special interest environmental pressure groups.

These critics viciously attack Alberta and the oil sands industry – accusing them of “blood oil,” environmental devastation and unethical practices. In reality, oil sands petroleum is among the most ethical and ecological on Earth, especially when compared to real-world alternatives like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Sudan, Russia, Ecuador and Venezuela, whose human rights violations, terrorism sponsorship and reckless environmental records are legendary. And yet oil sands critics give them a free pass, while heaping opprobrium on Canada.

Whole Foods says oil sands fuel “does not fit our values.” Perhaps the grocer and its “ethical” colleagues prefer values espoused in alternative oil-supplying nations on rights of women, children, gays and foreign housekeepers; stoning, lashing and lopping off hands and heads; treatment of civilians during wars in Chechnya and Darfur; massacres and environmental degradation in the Nigerian delta region; rigged elections and Swiss bank accounts for oil proceeds; or treatment of aboriginals, minorities and Christians.

Perhaps Whole Foods, Sierra Club, NRDC, Obama’s EPA and allied critics prefer to look toward China, which provides 95% of the rare earth metals that are essential for wind turbines and solar panels. Those operations have brought unprecedented air and water pollution, cropland and wildlife habitat wastelands, widespread radiation contamination, and cancer and lung disease in workers and local residents.

28% of Canadian oil industry jobs held by women is “not enough,” intones Kairos, a left-leaning coalition of churches. Compared to what? Women’s jobs in Saudi Arabia or Iran? The 3.5 million more American women who have ended up on poverty rolls since President Obama took office?

Some 1,600 ducks died after landing in an oil sands waste pit several years ago. A repeat of this isolated incident is increasingly unlikely as open pit mining and oil-water separation pits are replaced by in situ drilling and steam. Nevertheless, using analytical methods that only IPCC climate alarmists would appreciate, the “respected” Pembina Institute conjured up the fantastical “calculation” that “more than 160 million birds would die from oil sands development” over the coming decades.

The claim is not merely wild fear-mongering. It ignores the growing impact of wind turbines on raptors, and attempts by industrial wind developers to get US Fish & Wildlife Service “programmatic take” permits: 007 Licenses to Kill thousands of eagles, hawks, whooping cranes and other protected birds every year without fear of prosecution.

Greenpeace routinely pillories oil sands companies as “climate criminals,” while the US Environmental Protection Agency uses their oil sands CO2 emissions to justify denying Keystone Pipeline permits. (Greenpeace lost its Canadian tax-exempt status, but still manages to con contributors out of vast sums, to retain its status as a $340-million-per-year pressure group. EPA conducts illegal experiments on humans, to justify regulations that are killing thousands of coal mining and utility jobs.)

These positions reflect adherence to the shaky hypothesis of catastrophic manmade global warming and unsupportable claims that the oil sands contribute disproportionately to a looming climate Armageddon. However, Alberta environment office show that “greenhouse gas” emissions from oil sands plummeted 38% between 1990 and 2009, and are now 5% of Canada’s total GHG emissions – and equal to or lower than CO2/GHG emissions from petroleum operations in Nigeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

So-called “ethical funds” likewise excoriate oil sands developers like Total, Syncrude and Imperial Oil, while promising investors that their money will purchase shares in “responsible” companies that don’t produce fossil fuels, do nuclear power or contribute to climate change. Co-operative Bank’s is one of those modern day snake oil “entrepreneurs.” Its über-ethical Sustainable Leaders Trust (don’t you love that name?) makes that pitch – and then invests client cash in Third World coal mines … and oil sands!

The rogues’ gallery of oil sands critics and their shady dealings is so vast that someone could write a book about them. In fact, Ezra Levant did exactly that. His Ethical Oil is an eye-opening companion to my own Eco-Imperialism, which chronicles the often lethal misdeeds of other self-righteous pressure groups.

Their misrepresentations, double standards and questionable practices would get them brought up on fraud charges, if they were oil companies or non-“ethical” investment “trusts.” It’s time to apply the same legal and ethical standards to these “socially responsible” outfits that they insist on applying to the corporations they denounce.

Perhaps a few state attorneys general or Eric Holder’s replacement will do exactly that.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


1 comment:

OBloodyHell said...

}}} If any group around today seeks to stifle diverse thinking it is the Science Establishment

It's liberals in general, not just the "Science Establishment".

There is no group out there more ready to shut down dissenting opinions with brute force than liberals, unless it's Islamic fanatics, and that only by the barest minimum.

From shouting people down to threatening them with conviction or civil suit under some vaguely worded precepts, there are no Americans who understand the principles of Free Speech LESS than liberals, Democrats, and Greens.